Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Doctors of Herbal Transplantation!

BEFORE-Borage Plants Coming up EVERYWHERE!

AFTER-Vegetable Plants Say Thank You!
Well, we had a terrific day to work in the garden yesterday.  Remember the borage hedge we had last year in this bed.  I have labeled them as an annual herb, a perennial herb and they could be called a rampant self-sowing herb as well.  We definitely have the self-sowing kind.  They went bonkers this year!  So the Doctors Heraud did a transplantation, herbally speaking.  At least, they are out of that bed and we will sprinkle them around in other beds.  As you may be able to see in the link above, they do take a bit of space up and you need to use them judicially. We put them in the frig.  Hope they don't freeze.  Maybe using them in a salad if they did!  We had a blustery rainy and decidedly cooler day today.  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Couldn't Help Myself, Herbally Speaking!

My Herbal Companion, Bonnie and I spent Saturday morning at the Garden Marketplace at the Annual Symposium sponsored by the Penn State Cooperative Extension, Phipps Conservatory and Shadyside Academy.   There were lots of plant people there.  It was so tempting that I just had to put an order into one of my favorite herb farms, Mulberry Creek Herb Farm was going to be there selling.  I got a whole tray plus one plant.  BTW, you have to either go to Mulberry Creek or find out where they sell their plants.  They don't do mail order any more.  Now I just have to pray to the weather gods that the weather will warm up quickly.  The Herbal Husband is already asking when he can plant them.  Because I bought several scented geraniums, we have to hold off until the temperature at night is consistently into the 50's.  It is still up and down.

As you can see by the banner page, it has been a beautiful sunny albeit cool day because of the wind.  If the wind would just calm down, it would be perfect.  Tomorrow is supposed to be a bit warmer and then we take a downward turn and then back up again for the weekend.  Typical spring weather here in the 'Burgh!  Hope you had a great day.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Daffs in the 'Burgh!

Really the photos don't show off how beautiful the daffodils are this year.  It is freezing again!  From the 80's to the 70's and we are around 40 today!  This is spring in the 'Burgh!  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Guest Blogging for Mother Earth Living Magazine!

A Scarecrow Protecting a Plot in the Pine Street Community Garden
Sorry I have been MIA for a number of days.  Don't really have a good excuse.  Lots going on that I probably should share and I will, but I'll share with you my latest post of Mother Earth Living Magazine called Garden Inspiration:  3 Beautiful Community Gardens.  Spring has really sprung in the 'Burgh.  We were up to 85 yesterday and it wasn't even a record.  My heart has been broken with what went on with the Boston Marathon on Monday.  I lived in Boston for a year during my school time and the Boston Marathon was just the most wonderful celebration imaginable.  I hope that never changes.  Boston Strong!

I also wanted to mention the loss of our dear English friend, Mike who lived in France and who we visited in 2011 for our anniversary trip.  He had a stroke last week and it was too much for him to overcome.  He passed away today.  Cheers Mike!  We'll miss talking to you and seeing you.  Until we meet again!  Hope your day has been a good one.  Talk to you later.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Secretary of the Plant Markers!

Well, as you can see in the chaos of the seed tin, we were busy yesterday planting our early seeds.  Only to have hail and a driving rainstorm move them around yesterday evening.  So we put an extra cover of soil on top and maybe the seeds will hold on for dear life because it's going to rain again!  So goes Spring!  My chief job was writing labels for the seeds as they were sprinkled into the ground.  Hope you are having a great day.  We are going to be cool again over the weekend but just briefly.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Coltsfoot Blooming and Other Gardening Thoughts!

Coltsfoot in Bud and Bloom
Up until a few days ago, I wasn't familiar with this flower that is blooming in the back of our yard.  I then discovered a great post by one of my favorite blogs at The Cloisters in New York City, The Medieval Garden Enclosed called First Foot.   You may want to follow this blog or put it in your favorites to read when they post.  It has a lot of good information on Medieval gardens.  I want to get back to see them again.  They have such a beautiful series of gardens.  I did a post about them for Herb Companion called Herbal Travels:  The Cloisters when The Herbal Husband  and I did a week in New York.

Back to Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) gives a nod to dandelion in the shape of its flower, but much smaller in size.  The plant grows 3 to 18 inches tall.  "Tussis" in Latin means "cough".  People thought the juice of the plant cured coughs.  In New England they made candy sticks made with coltsfoot flavor to soothe coughs.  The name "coltsfoot" comes from the shape of the leaves which are shaped like hoofs.  The leaves come out after the blooms are finished and can be up to 18 inches across.  The leaves in the photo above are ground ivy!  It grows in damp, disturbed soil along roads and streams throughout Pennsylvania.  This information is from a book called Wildflowers of Pennsylvania by Mary Joy Haywood and Phyllis Testal Monk.  I took a photo of The Herbal Husband chomping on a piece of chive.  You know we are happy here when that happens!  Hope you are having a great day.  We are out trying to get seeds planted and plants in the herb garden trimmed back.  Yippee!  Talk to you later.  P.S. Take a guess what's coming back in the banner photo.
It's the Lovage Coming to Life!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Be Careful What You Want to Weed This Time of Year and An After Photo!

Really This Looks A Lot Better Than Before!
Look What I Found!
Besides the sticks and strings that you have to preserve in our garden, it was just a whole lot of cutting over a couple of days and we still have some to go.  I wanted to remind you though that what you may want to take out may have a beneficial aspect to it.  We have the ever invasive hummingbird vine (Campsis radicans) and it was in our shrubbery.  Now would be a good time to remove it, right?  Wrong!  Look what I found, a egg case of a praying mantis.  We have had them in the past and I actually watched one hatch one day in the spring several years ago.  I also had ladybugs and eggs in the tansy I want to move from the herb garden.  So be careful what you wish for.

Glorious weather here in the 'Burgh.  Going to mow down the grasses today while it is sunny and warm.  Rain arrives this afternoon maybe.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

My Great Aunt's Watercolors!

The Ever Popular Edible Dandelion
A Still life of Vegetables
A Farmhouse in the Area
Her Favorite Flowers, Daylilies!
My great aunt married my great uncle on my mother's side of the family when she was 22 or 23 and he was 55.  He was her Sunday school teacher at church.  It was a scandal in the family, but love and faith forge a great relationship and they were married for 33 years until my great uncle died at 88.

While we have been getting things out of the attic and sorting through them, The Herbal Husband said to me the other day, "What should we do with your great aunt's watercolors?"  I asked, "What watercolors?"  He said, "Well, when we went to the funeral and her nephew said to everyone, just take what you want.  I spotted them on a shelf and put them in a box for us to keep."  Good man.  I will try to pass them on to one of her direct family members, but for now they are safe and finally on the wall in our dining room.

It is starting to warm up here.  We did have one last cold (20's) night and now we are going to have rain showers and warm temperatures.  Hope you are having a great day.  Talk to you later.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Finally, Spring Weather and It May Be Here for Awhile!

Well, this doesn't look like much but you have to start somewhere.  I'm just pacing myself so I don't collapse in a heap!  Have a lot to do, but The Herbal Husband was inside working on framing and hanging some watercolors from my Great Aunt and so I headed outside.  As you can see in the banner page, the daffodils have finally started to bloom and I uncovered a few more that should get greened up and start to bud soon.  We are just going to jump to the 70's come next week and I guess I can't wait.  We need to get the front looking nice and then mow the grasses down next week.  Very late for that project.  So I hope your weather is cooperating where you are.  Talk to you later.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


The Front Garden Looks a Bit Tatty!
There Are Signs of Life!
Really There Are!
Here Some Daffodils Ready to Bloom!  Well, Not Quite Yet!
I was really hoping that we would work over the weekend to get the front garden in shape.  This is all the further I got and we had flurries yesterday and I was wearing my hood and gloves while shopping this morning.  Still cold here.  Maybe Thursday we are going to start to warm up!  Hoping.  Hope it is warmer where you may be.  Everything is different from last year.  We had already had 80 in March several times.  Not this year.  We were briefly in the 50's over the weekend.  Hopefully we will get there again at the end of this week.  We are very behind on everything.  Hope you are making headway in your garden.  If we can just get rid of the 20's and 30's as temperatures, we will be looking up!  Talk to you later.